Rip Van Winkle Bridge toll-takers losing jobs soon
Melanie Lekocevic reports for Columbia-Greene Media that the toll takers on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge are about to lose their jobs. The electronic gantries to implement cashless tolling have been installed next to the toll booths on the west bank of the Hudson River, but officials aren't saying when exactly the current toll-takers lose their jobs. “No official date has been set yet for the launch of cashless tolling at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, but we are still on track to do so this fall,” said Christopher Steber, public information officer for the New York State Bridge Authority. “We continue to install equipment at the facility and once complete, we will begin tests to ensure the equipment is properly functioning.” EZ-Pass users continue to pay $1.45 to enter Columbia County, while the sensors will read license plates of cars without EZ-Pass, and send 1 $1.75 charge to the car owner. All five Bridge Authority toll booths are being taken down, and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge went live July 7 with the new sensors. The Bear Mountain Bridge will be next, followed by the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. The current toll booth on the bridge won't be removed until next year. “Next spring, when construction can occur, we plan to start reconfiguring the toll plaza to allow for seamless travel through the plaza,” Steber said. “Notably, westbound travelers who have just crossed the bridge will no longer have to hook to the right in order to pass around the tollbooths like they currently do. Rather, they will keep traveling straight through, in the vicinity of where lanes 2 and 3 currently are.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.